I was ecstatic when my daughter said her first word – “Mama!”
I was thrilled when she said her second, third, fourth, and then twenty fourth words and beyond. But there is one word that I have been anticipating more than any other: her name.
My daughter knows her name is Anna, and she responds when someone calls her name. There is no problem with her recognizing that people address her as Anna. I have been anticipating hearing my baby use her sweet little voice to say her name for some time now, and finally, I started working with her this morning on saying it.
“Anna,” I would say over and over again. She would just turn and smile at me or say, “Me!” Yes, she knows that the name ‘Anna’ refers to her just like ‘Mommy’ refers to me, ‘Daddy’ refers to her father, and ‘Melmo’ refers to Elmo from Sesame Street. But would she say it?
I got really optimistic about it. She was bound to say her name eventually, and the rate that she is going, I knew it would not be much longer, so I continued repeating her name over and over. I started saying, “Anna,” in a fun, sing-song voice. And then…
She started saying it! It comes out like, “Nah-nuh!” but still, I am just completely overwhelmed with pride and excitement at her newest vocabulary skill – that of being able to identify herself as someone other than ‘baby’. I am not sure at what age children typically begin to refer to themselves as their first name, but at less than twenty months of age, I think that is a pretty amazing thing.
What word did you most anticipate your child saying? Was it as exciting as you thought it would be?